Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: DANIEL, EZEKIEL, and REVELATION: ANSWERS

General Epistles:
Hebrews:
Hebrews is a Bible book, in the New Testament. The Book of Hebrews teaches many things about Jesus. We do not know the author of Hebrews. Some people think that Paul wrote Hebrews. The Book of Hebrews is an important book that teaches many lessons about the Bible. The Book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus was not an angel (a servant of God from heaven) (Hebrews 1). Jesus is God. But Jesus became a man. Jesus is our priest (Hebrews chapters 5-9). And Jesus is the perfect priest (Hebrews 7:25-28). In the Old Testament, priests killed animals so that God would forgive the people. But Jesus died himself, to suffer the punishment for our evil deeds. God accepted Jesus's blood (that is, his death - Hebrews 9). So, God will forgive us when we trust Jesus. In the Bible's Old Testament, many people trusted God (Hebrews 11). They believed that God would send Jesus. So, they were not afraid, although they had great troubles. So, we too should trust God when we have troubles (Hebrews 12:1-2).
James
The book of James is a letter in the New Testament of the Bible. People think that the writer was James the brother of Jesus. He became a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Galatians1:19) James tells his readers about different things: We may suffer because we follow Jesus. But we must be patient (James 5:7-11). This will make us better people (James 1:2-4) He speaks against rich people who do wrong things to poor people (James 2:1-4, James 5:1-7). God will say that they are wrong. If poor people trust God, this is better than wealth (James 2:5-7) God will give wisdom to those who ask for it (James 1:5). This is because true wisdom comes from God (James 1:16-18). God's wisdom teaches us the right behavior (James 3:13-16). If we trust in God, we will show it in our actions, (James 2:14-26). James warns us to be careful about our words (James 3:1-12). He tells us that we should pray sincerely (James 5:13-16). James is a favorite book for many people.
1 Peter
1 Peter is a letter in the Bible's New Testament. The author of the letter is Peter. Peter was a disciple (student) of Jesus. And Peter became a leader in the first Christian church, in Jerusalem. Peter wrote his letter to Christians who were suffering great troubles. Peter wanted them to trust God more. Their troubles would test them. But they were joyful, even when they suffered. They were joyful, because they trusted God's promises. And they were joyful, because Jesus died for them. So, Peter encouraged them to be holy. Their troubles would last for a short time. But God's word lasts always. And they will always live with God in heaven. There, they will not suffer. God chose them to be his people (1 Peter 2:10). So, they were special people. They did not belong to this world (1 Peter 2:11). They belonged in heaven. Jesus suffered many terrible things, too. But he did not reply when people insulted him. He did not complain. He trusted God. And when Jesus died, he suffered the punishment for our evil deeds. This was how he made us into the people of God (1 Peter 2:21-25). We should copy Jesus, even when we suffer. We should respect our husbands and wives (1 Peter 3:1-7). We should respect our employers (1 Peter 2:18-21). And we should even respect rulers and governments (1 Peter 2:13-17). They might be evil. But we should still be good. We should tell them gently about Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). We might suffer because we are Christians. But even if this happens, we should be glad. And we should praise God that we are Christians (1 Peter 4:12-19). Peter advised these Christians to love each other (1 Peter 4:8). And, he had special advice for the church leaders (1 Peter 5:1-4).
2 Peter
The second letter from Peter is found in the New Testament of the Bible. Peter was a leader of the church. He sent this letter to all believers. Peter told the Christians how they could grow as Christians. He explained that God himself directed the authors of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21). Peter warned the Christians about evil teachers. These teachers were teaching false ideas. And their behaviour was very evil. God will punish such teachers. And he will also punish the people who follow them. Peter also explained about Jesus' return to this earth. Some people might suppose that Jesus will never return. But Peter explained that they are wrong. God made the earth. And God will also destroy the earth. God is not slow; but God is patient. And, because God is patient, we have the opportunity to trust God now. Then, we will enjoy the things that God promises: a new heaven, and a new earth.
1 John
John was one of the first men to follow Jesus. He knew Jesus well. But John also understood that Jesus is God (1 John 1:1-3). John wrote this letter to all Christians. John wanted Christians to be certain that God loves them (1 John 3:1). Because God loves us, we too must love other Christians (1 John 3:17; 1 John 4:19-21). This has always been the law of God (1 John 2:8). We must love other people. John also wanted to remind Christians about some important facts:
  • Christians are God's children and they can enjoy friendship with him. (1 John 3:1 and 2:3)
  • They do not need to do wrong things. But God will forgive them if they confess their evil deed to God (1 John 2:1).
  • The Holy Spirit is with them to warn them about false ideas. (1 John 2:18-27)
  • They can be joyful and have true friendship with other Christians. (1 John 1:4 and 7)
 2 John
2 John is a short letter, in the Bible (New Testament). The author was John, who also wrote John's Gospel, Revelation, and two other letters. The book of 2 John teaches that we should love other Christians. God orders us to love each other (2 John 5-6). We must not accept people who teach wrong things about Jesus (2 John 7-11). Jesus is God. But he became a man so that he could die for us. When he died, he suffered the punishment for our evil deeds. This is the true Christian message.
3 John
3 John is a personal letter from John to Gaius. It is in the New Testament of the Bible. John was glad to hear that Gaius taught the true Christian message. John was also glad that Gaius looked after other Christians. These Christians were travelling to teach God's message elsewhere. And Gaius helped them. There were some problems in Gaius's church. John wanted to come so that he could help Gaius.
Jude
The Book of Jude is a short letter in the Bible (New Testament). The author, Jude, was a brother of Jesus. Jude wrote his letter to warn the church about some men. These men lived evil lives. And they denied that Jesus is God. Jude explained that God would punish these men. And Jude encouraged the people in that church to continue to trust God.
Prophetic/Apocalyptic (or the revealing):
Revelation:
The Book of Revelation is a book about the future. It is the last book in the Bible's New Testament. Its author was John, who was a disciple (student) of Jesus. The Book of Revelation uses picture stories to describe future events. These stories are often difficult to explain. But the book contains some clear lessons about the future:
  • Good people will not always suffer. God has prepared a home in heaven for everyone who trusts Jesus. Nobody will be sad there. Heaven will be a wonderful place.
  • There will not always be evil rulers. Their cruelty will end. Their power will end. God will punish them.
  • Jesus will return to this earth. Then everyone will know that Jesus is God. And he will be the judge of everyone.
  • The devil will not always be powerful. God will punish the devil. And the devil will lose his evil powers.
  • We must invite God into our lives now. Terrible things will happen before Jesus returns. But God will protect us if we trust him.
  • Knowing the Bible is one thing, but knowing the Author is another!!!

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